Pederson On Clock Management, Coaching Staff

Doug Pederson, Alex Smith and Andy Reid. (USA Today Sports)

Doug Pederson, Alex Smith and Andy Reid. (USA Today Sports)

Andy Reid seemed to play a big role in the Eagles’ decision to hire Doug Pederson, from his stamp of approval to grooming his former quarterback as an offensive coordinator.

Although the team wanted to get back to a coach similar to Reid, he had his flaws. One of those was clock management, which was a problem for him on Saturday in Kansas City’s playoff loss to New England. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Pederson’s Potential Staff

Chiefs tight ends coach Tom Melvin and Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports)

Chiefs tight ends coach Tom Melvin and Doug Pederson. (USA Today Sports)

When Jeffrey Lurie fired Chip Kelly, he sent the Eagles into a state of uncertainty. It’s a state that — even with the expected hiring of Doug Pederson — won’t be settled for weeks.

The lack of clarity looms because it’s unknown who Pederson will tab as his coordinators, and who the assistant coaches will be on both sides of the ball, as well as on special teams. However, reports have circulated about which coaches will leave, be retained or be added.

In an attempt to clear up the murky picture, let’s piece together Pederson’s potential staff. Read more »

Eagles End Of the Year Awards

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

It was an up-and-down year for the 2014 Eagles. From the shutout against the Giants to the Thanksgiving Day win in Dallas to the collapse down the stretch, the end result left players and fans with an empty feeling.

Having said that, now seems like a good time to wrap a bow around the year that was. Here are my 2014 end-of-year Eagles awards. Read more »

Fipp Warned Of Short Kickoff Vs. Cowboys

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Linc was full of energy last Sunday night in the minutes leading up to the Eagles’ matchup with the Cowboys.

The fans coordinated an impressively loud “Dallas Sucks!” chant during the coin toss. They booed the Cowboys when the football got knocked off the tee by the wind. They were ready to celebrate a victory that would put their team in control of the NFC East.

The Eagles won the toss and decided to receive. But that’s when things went wrong.

As you know by now, the kickoff was short. Neither Brad Smith nor Josh Huff fielded it. The Cowboys recovered deep in Eagles territory and got in the end zone to take a 7-0 lead.

But the show Turning Point on NBC Sports revealed an interesting bit of information about the play: special teams coach Dave Fipp warned the players in the pre-game huddle that the kick would be short: Read more »

The Evolution Of ‘Murderleg’

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Florida

Carey Spear hadn’t heard the nickname until last week.

“From what I was told, it was written in a blog somewhere,” old Murderleg told Birds 24/7 Wednesday. “And it was pretty humorous hearing that and seeing how the city just kind of rallied around that nickname a little bit. So I never heard it at Vanderbilt.” Read more »

Wake-Up Call: The Elephant In the Room

Eagles Kicker Alex Henery kicking field goal
Deep down, in places Eagles fans don’t talk about at parties, there’s a realization that special teams could play a big part in determining this team’s fate.

It’s not the most comforting of thoughts, particularly after a game in Minnesota that turned the term “squib” into a curse word in Philadelphia. It’s far more desirable to tie one’s fortunes to the likes of LeSean McCoy or DeSean Jackson or DeMeco Ryans, but that’s not always the way it works out. Sometimes it comes down to the Alex Henery‘s of the world. Read more »

Odds Not In Henery’s Favor

Alex Henery

The wind gusted right as Chip Kelly and special teams coach Dave Fipp got together to make their decision.

Matt Barkley had just been dropped for a five-yard sack and the Eagles were facing a 4th-and-10 from the Giants’ 32. The options were to trot Alex Henery out for a 50-yard field goal attempt into a wind that was showing off its strength, or put the ball in the hands of a rookie quarterback in fourth-and-long.

“I made it in pregame,” said Henery. “But it’s just like the kickoffs — you’re kicking that way, you can kick it five deep or you can hit a wind gust and it be on the 15, so it’s just one of those things, either you’re going to make the field goal or you’re giving them the ball right there.”

Kelly elected to go for it. Barkley mishandled the snap, scooped it off the ground and threw wildly in the direction of Jason Avant over the middle. Incomplete. A 12-play drive and nothing to show for it. Read more »

Kelly Explains In-Game Decisions

chipkelly_400_102613Chip Kelly made some in-game decisions during Sunday’s loss to the Giants that will leave him open to second-guessing in the next couple days.

He was asked about all of them during his press conference. Here’s what Kelly said.

1. With 1:14 left in the second quarter, the Eagles had a first-and-goal from the Giants’ 2. They had just driven 78 yards, and Matt Barkley had completed six of seven passes. Instead of giving LeSean McCoy a chance to punch it in, Kelly called a naked bootleg and had Barkley roll out to his left. With the two receivers covered, Barkley was supposed to throw the ball away. But he waited too long and was stripped by Terrell Thomas. Barkley fumbled, and instead of a touchdown, the Eagles turned the ball over.

“We called timeout. I just wanted to get Matt settled. And we went over and talked about it,” Kelly said. “It’s a play we’ve run, we’ve practiced continually for about six weeks or seven weeks since the beginning of the season. It was just a naked [bootleg]. We’ve got one route with DeSean [Jackson] out wide and then the tight end on a drag on the back side. If we didn’t have it, throw it away.”

Why not hand it off to McCoy there? Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Can Fipp Fix Special Teams?

The question posed to Chip Kelly was about defensive coordinator Billy Davis and a potential switch to a 3-4 scheme.

“I like the 3-4 better,” Kelly said. “When I first started at Oregon, I think from a special-teams standpoint, philosophically, if you carry more linebackers on your roster than you do defensive linemen, you help your team from a special-teams standpoint.”

It was far from the most important thing Kelly said on a day when he introduced his new staff and announced Michael Vick would be returning. But it showed that he’s thinking about special teams when shaping other parts of the organization.

According to Football Outsiders, the Birds had the 24th-ranked special teams in the league in 2012. Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News had the Eagles 28th.

With Bobby April now in Oakland, Dave Fipp takes over as special-teams coordinator. His relationship with Kelly goes back 13 years to when Fipp traveled to New Hampshire to interview for a coaching job.

“My favorite part about Chip Kelly is he’s been the same guy the whole time,” he said.

Fipp, a former safety at University of Arizona, has five years of NFL coaching experience. He spent three seasons (2008-10) as the 49ers’ assistant special-teams coach and the past two years in the same role with the Dolphins. Fipp also bounced around the college ranks at Holy Cross, Arizona, Cal Poly, Nevada and San Jose State.

While Kelly’s plans for running NFL practices remain a bit of a mystery, Fipp emphasized that the head coach is committed to making special teams a priority.

“I can tell you this, I know that special teams is really important to him,” Fipp said. “I know special teams is critical to him. I know he’s going to allocate the time necessary that we need to perform at a high level.”

As of last Monday, Fipp said he had already spent a considerable amount of time looking at what went right and what went wrong for the Eagles on special teams last season. He didn’t want to point fingers, but said he expects his group to be different going forward.

From a personnel standpoint, Colt Anderson is a restricted free agent. Long-snapper Jon Dorenbos is unrestricted. And so is Akeem Jordan, the team’s leading tackler on special teams in 2012.

One decision Kelly will have to make is whether or not to use DeSean Jackson on punt returns. Jackson only returned one punt last season, and he was terrible in that role in 2011. But in his first three years in the league, Jackson had four touchdowns on special teams.

“He’s obviously as explosive as any player in the National Football League back there,” Fipp said. “He’s really lightning in a bottle. The guy’s deadly. He has changed a lot of games with his ability back there. I know he hasn’t done it really for a couple years.

“I know this. I know that Coach Kelly knows that he’s an explosive player. I know that his role on this football team will be maximized. Whether or not he’ll be back there returning punts, we’ll find out.”


Dennis Dixon says the Eagles’ quarterback job is up for grabs.

If the Birds let Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie walk, what are their options at cornerback?

Here are some draft nuggets from Mike Mayock with an Eagles slant.

The Eagles mock draft roundup page has been updated.

The Cowboys could have had LeSean McCoy, but Jerry Jones strayed from his draft board.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING’s Dan Graziano pegs Anderson as the Eagles’ must-keep free agent:

The Eagles have only eight free agents, and the seven unrestricted guys are either dead weight or non-essential. Argue cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie if you like, but is he a “must-keep?” Anderson is a special-teams ace and a decent backup safety.’s Peter King says the unimpressive class of QB prospects is a good thing for teams looking to deal a signal-caller:

That means San Francisco should get a mid-round pick, at worst, for Smith, who was the league’s top-rated quarterback last November when benched for Colin Kaepernick and is still just 28. Seattle could get a pick for Matt Flynn, who’s been made obsolete by Russell Wilson. And the Eagles, despite their we-love-Nick-Foles protestations to the contrary, should be able to get a mid-rounder for their second-year passer.


Plenty to get to, including a profile of one prospect who could be on the Eagles’ radar.

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